Author Archives: George Simmers

After many years as a teacher, I retired and began researching for a Ph.D. on the fiction of the Great War – especially the books, stories and plays that were written during the War or immediately afterwards.

Twenties Novelists consider War Poets

I’ve just put online a paper I wrote a few years ago. It’s called ‘I too am a Murderer’: Representations of War Poets in Fictions of the 1920s. You can find it by clicking here. I first wrote it for the excellent Oxford centenary conference in 2014, where it was received quite well. I went […]

1914/2022

I’m watching ITV News, and the word Przemyśl jumps out at me from the bottom of the screen. It is one of the places where Ukranian refugees are being welcomed to Poland. But the name strikes memories, of course. This is not the first time it has been in the news. In the autumn of […]

Geoffrey Hill on Owen, Rosenberg and ‘Pity’

This post is a recommendation to take a look at the lectures that the late Geoffrey Hill gave when Professor of Poetry at Oxford between 2010 and 2015.You can find them at: https://www.english.ox.ac.uk/professor-sir-geoffrey-hill-lectures I don’t know how long they’ve been online, and this is probably old news to many people, but I’ve only just discovered […]

Woolf, ‘Sapper’, Edgar Wallace

Sometimes the census just tells you what you already knew. Here is the return submitted by Leonard and Virginia Woolf, from an address oddly transcribed as ‘Rodmell, Lewes, Southease & Rodmell, Sussex, England’: Living with the couple are Nellie and Lettie, brought to live so vividly in Alison Light’s book Mrs Woolf and the Servants.

Bourne

I loked for Frederic Manning in the 1921 census, and found him at Edenham, near Bourne in Lincolnshire: He was lodging with the family of Joseph Kirby, a farm labourer, and probably starting to write Her Privates We. He named the hero of the novel Bourne, the same as the village. He must have liked […]

Arnold Bennett and the census

Where was Arnold Bennett on census day? On his yacht, of course, enjoying the fruits of his literary success. Here’s the census return submitted form Bembridge, Hampshire.

Rosie

Over the time I’ve spent with Rose Allatini, author of Despised and Rejected, and so frequently disappointed by life, I have found her using several names: R. Allatini, A.T. Fitzroy, R.L. Scott, Mrs Cyril Scott, Lucian Wainwright, Eunice Buckley… Now, in the 1921 census, she has yet another name. The census was taken just a […]

The 1921 Census

I’ve already posted about Evadne Price’s interesting appearance in the census, and will be adding a few more details about other writers in due course. I consulted the census at the Manchester Central Reference Library, a place dear to me since my BA student days, nearly sixty years ago. Apart from the National Archives at […]

Evadne Price tells the truth (to an extent)

A life-story that I’ve been interested in for a long while is that of Evadne Price, who as ‘Helen Zenna Smith’ wrote Not So Quiet…, one of the most striking pretend-memoirs of the war. By now it is accepted that she is the Eva Price who was born in Australia in 1888, married a man […]

Merry Christmas

Season’s greetings to all: